Abra esta publicación para ver el enlace en español.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is having a great toll on our physical and mental health and our finances. It is easy to suffer from “information overload”. We are bombarded with news, medical information, local, state and federal guidelines. Everyone has advice and everyone has an opinion. And, since the situation is changing so rapidly, the advice and procedures change daily.
If you are an employee who is no longer working due to Covid-19, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits. You should apply through the Texas Workforce Commission website. You can apply through the website 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Since there is a lot of traffic on the site, it may be helpful to apply when there is likely to be less traffic on the site. So, you may have to get up in the middle of the night to apply.
Here is a place to start on the TWC website (be aware this can change as things evolve). Scroll down the page until you see “unemployment benefits”. Currently, there is a pdf for download that is specific to Covid-19 claims. Make sure that you read this carefully. There are instructions on how to file.
Once you have entered your information, make sure to check and double-check all of your information. TWC has stated that the most common mistake is entering the wrong social security number. It is easy to transpose digits when you are tired and stressed. Double-check everything to make sure it is correct. And remember not to log off without completing the application. Make sure you go all the way through to the end and submit.
Another important resource is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on the U.S. Department of Labor website. This is a temporary law that is in effect through the end of 2020 and applies to employers with under 500 employees. You can check this to see if it affects your situation in any way.
It is not guaranteed that you will receive unemployment benefits just because Covid-19 is here and you apply for benefits. In order to be eligible, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own. Examples of fault include poor job performance, refusing to work, disregarding safety rules, employee theft or dishonesty. There are others. If the TWC determines that the employee is at fault, the employee is ineligible for unemployment benefits. There are some situations which are in a “grey area” and it may not be so easy to determine the facts. The TWC will gather the facts from employee and employer and make a determination. The TWC site contains information about losing your job for reasons other than Covid-19.
If an employer lays off employees (plural) temporarily or permanently, the employer may be able to simplify the paperwork process for everyone under the mass claims process.
Use this blog, internet searches and news summaries as informational. If you need information about a governmental program or resources, go straight to that site. Things are changing rapidly. Make sure you rely on the most accurate and up-to-date information.
To help in the time of need, through May, 2020, we are offering a free 20 minute telephone or video consult with one of our business & employment law attorneys. We can answer your questions and tell you your options for going forward.
Contact us. Ask to schedule a free business consult before May 31, 2020.